Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay

Not everyone has fond memories of their school days.

While you can go back and pinpoint fun times hidden in your time in the classroom, there are definitely bad spots scattered throughout. Sometimes it can be connected to your classmates, but mostly it falls with the education system itself. Your bad days at school are the result of choices made long ago that are still affecting students today, and it's not only you. There needs to be a change.

Reddit user, u/Stindo, wanted to hear what shouldn't be considered outside the box thinking when they asked:

What should be normalized in today's educational system?

There's key skills we should be teaching in school that are sorely lacking. We need a serious change and some of it can start with the curriculum.

Think Beyond The Obvious

"Critical thinking instead of school being a test prep factory that's designed to get kids into the workforce"


Let Them Be Who They Are

"Showing emotions. I was never allowed to show any negative emotion as a child because I "was just being a brat." No, I was a child who, instead of learning how to deal with her emotions now just bottles them up until it gets to be too much and I self harm."


Teach Them How It Works

"Proper sex education, and start it earlier."


"nine of the top ten states in the country with the highest rates of teen pregnancy per capita are states with abstinence only education. the tenth is D.C., but since that's not a state (yet), all of the actual states with the most teen pregnancies are those that tell kids to just wait until marriage."


Make It Matter, Not Pointless

"No homework. Kids need a break from school at the end of the day."


"It's an American thing.

I studied at a (good) private school in India; no homework.

My child goes to a (good) public school in the US; I'm just astonished at what he has do back home. It's like they want it to be a full time job or something."


A Relic From A Bygone Era

"I like how many schools are starting to do this, but it does need to be more commonplace: stop starting schools so early. Some especially high schools and some middle schools can start as early as 7 a.m., which studies have repeatedly shown that is way too early for many developing teenagers to focus and learn, they need their sleep.

Like I said some schools are going to later starting times for middle and high schools are going to after 8:30/9:00 a.m., but I'd like to see this normalized systemwide."


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A Tricky Situation

"being allowed to be able to leave in the middle of a class or lecture to go to the bathroom or attend to an emergency. its wrong to make someone wait especially if they really need to go and can't hold it in. also anyone with periods cant control their period and if it starts to leak or their period unexpectedly starts they should be able to get to the bathroom as fast as possible to get a new pad or tampon. you shouldn't be forced to sit and wait in your own blood. if you say you need to go to the bathroom teachers should let you go and not question you about it."


Let Them Do Learn The True Skills For Life

"Letting high school students fill their core and elective hours with classes that teach content they'll actually use. Plan to become a journalist and don't need Algebra II or Trig? Fine. Take courses in Logic and Argumentation instead. Don't need a whole semester just to learn Office? Perfectly reasonable. How about a class that teaches spreadsheets through real-life budget-keeping?"

"Ethical, fact-driven, wholly informative health and sexual education. What's that? Teaching something you know doesn't work to impressionable kids is unethical? Abstinence education is a joke. Teach kids about contraceptives. Rather than just grossing them out with photos of heavily progressed STIs, tell them the statistics about comorbidities, financial cost of treatments, etc. Also, LBGTQ+ sexual safety."

"Civics classes that build upon valid debate techniques and teach people to spot possible misinformation. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them evil; often, it could be the case that they don't have access to the same information sources, or their own villainize it."


Then there's those changes which would completely rework the entire education system. These changes aren't small, nor are they easy to implement, but if they do then they'd be able to make a real difference.

Gather Your Mental Fortitude Before You Go

"I personally think taking a gap year before finishing highschool should be normalized. I was lucky enough to choose the right study that I love but a lot of my friends and people I talk to had to switch bachelors due to a wrong choice. Taking some time to figure out what it is you want to do is fine imo, but my parents and for a lot of other people want you going into to college a soon as possible."


Emphasize Health Over Goals

"Teaching individual fitness for long term health, rather than just team sports. I would have greatly benefited from learning how to weight lift and work out on my own VS playing team sports. I was a super shy kid, got bullied because I was bigger and HATED gym class, because it was all team based stuff. Would have been really cool to learn yoga, Pilates, etc. Anything individual."


Be Honest And Speak To Kids Truthfully

"Truth about drugs:

"Yes, they're bad, but saying a joint will cause psychosis or kill you after smoking one, only leads to the young smoking a joint thinking 'this is great, and I'm not dead' instant mistrust of personal and educational superiors. Dilutes warnings of drugs which can actually kill when used once."

"Respect youths with facts. Data. Talks from real recovering drug addicts, telling truths of their choices and the impact it had on their lives."

"Solution to problems like these should be battled at the beginning of a journey, not the middle."


A Vicious Cycle

"Better teachers.

Which, of course, can only be achieved with higher wages. Right now we're in a negative cycle of 'low wage' -> 'competent ppl choose other jobs' -> 'worse teachers' -> 'justification for low wage' -> repeat"


We Grow, We Learn, We Gain Knowledge

"A growth mindset amongst students - students that are performing significantly worse than others in school/in a particular subject often think that just because they're not gifted at the said subject, they can't really get better. That type of mindset's more detrimental to their performance than their actual intelligence/existing skillset."


Let Them Learn How To Recover

"Probably cliche but failing at something.

The system strives to produce an appearance of perfection which is really producing risk aversion and lack of critical thinking."


"As a teacher who teaches mastery over simple obedience, this is an uphill battle for so many kids. They'll fail at something, and then get all sad like they're a bad person or something. When I tell them failure is how we grow and that they can try again, they just can't even understand the words coming out of my mouth.

The fact that this is shocking to parents and even many fellow teachers is proof of how far we need to go. How the f-ck do people think it's okay to expect perfection from literal children?"


Post-Pandemic, Please Make This Mandatory.

"Staying home when you're sick"


"Back in 8th grade a girl had a slight fever but her mom sent her to school anyway because attendance was important. Fast forward to a week later when EVERYBODY including me has chicken pox."


Taking Care Of Your Mind

"Mental health help/ education

Interactive learning

Less homework, less focus on exams, preferably no standardized tests"


At the end of the day we all want the best for our kids. Sometimes that means addressing a system that's been less than ideal from the start. Real change happens when everyone takes action, and hopefully kids will one day be that motivating factor.

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